04 Aug Covid Protocol Update 8/3
Friends and Colleagues,
The last month has seen struggles across the nation and in Oklahoma. 12&12 has not been spared. The prevalence of COVID-19 in Tulsa is incredibly high. On June 12, the 7 day average for Tulsa was 143. On June 25, there were 52 COVID patients in Tulsa hospitals. On July 27, the 7 day average was 234 and there were 168 patients in hospitals. I expect numbers to remain high for the foreseeable future.
Over the last 30 days, 12&12 has had both employees and patients test positive for the virus. Every single time, there was minimal disruption to patient flow and care because of our protocols put in place over the last few months. I continue to update and tweak the protocols as we adapt and new information/guidelines become available. I will always be more aggressive and protective than most guidelines because 12&12 not only has a closed living environment, but also because many of our patients are immunosuppressed. Recently, 12&12 took advantage of the opportunity to purchase a rapid test machine with a small number of test kits. We initially wanted to test every new admission. However, soon after we procured our supply, the federal government obtained all the other available test kits. At this time, we have a very small number and no information as to when we will receive more. We are reserving these kits for low risk exposures of employees whose absence from the facility (i.e. cannot work from home) would lower our ability to care for clients. These kits have allowed us to avoid large quarantines and avoid disruption in processes.
With such a high burden of virus in the community, we continue to ask all of our employees to exercise sound and safe judgement when not at work. This includes wearing a mask in public and avoiding small and large gatherings. I continue to emphasize the point that the single greatest threat to our clients is employees. Further, while at 12&12, I ask all employees to avoid face to face interactions with clients and fellow employees as much as possible, and to always wear a mask. All interactions should have 6ft of distance and a mask, without exception. Following this procedure will prevent having to send employees home for two weeks after an exposure.
I am so incredibly proud of all of the efforts of our staff, including our techs and nurses that have acted rapidly and quickly to keep us all safe. I wish I could tell you this will end soon, but I can’t. I believe realistically we are looking at COVID precautions through the end of next summer. With all of the work that our staff has and is doing, I have no doubt that 12&12 will remain 100% available during this time to care for those individuals who need our help. I wish you all well and encourage you to stay safe.
Jason Beaman D.O., M.S., M.P.H.
Medical Director, 12&12 Inc.